Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Cronartium kamtschaticum
(Japanese white pine rust)



Cronartium kamtschaticum (Japanese white pine rust)


  • Last modified
  • 14 July 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Cronartium kamtschaticum
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Japanese white pine rust
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Fungi
  •     Phylum: Basidiomycota
  •       Subphylum: Pucciniomycotina
  •         Class: Pucciniomycetes
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Cronartium kamtschaticum Jørst. 1934

Preferred Common Name

  • Japanese white pine rust

Other Scientific Names

  • Peridermium kurilense Dietel 1905

EPPO code

  • CRONKA (Cronatrium kamtschaticum)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Fungi
  •         Phylum: Basidiomycota
  •             Subphylum: Pucciniomycotina
  •                 Class: Pucciniomycetes
  •                     Order: Pucciniales
  •                         Family: Cronartiaceae
  •                             Genus: Cronartium
  •                                 Species: Cronartium kamtschaticum

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page In Kamchatka and the Kurile Islands (Russia), Cronartium kamtschaticum has its telial state on species of Pedicularis and Castilleja and its aecial (Peridermium) state on Pinus sibirica. C. kamtschaticum has also been found on Pinus pumila in Japan, where the telial state is reported on Pedicularis and Ribes. Japanese workers frequently refer to this fungus as a form of the well known and widely distributed white pine blister rust C. ribicola, which is morphologically very similar but typically has Pinus strobus and species of Ribes as hosts. This fungus also occurs in Japan. Concern has arisen particularly because of reports of a blister rust on the economically important P. strobus in eastern Hokkaido, Japan, which it proved possible to inoculate onto species of both Pedicularis and Ribes. The question thus arises whether there are forms of C. kamtschaticum which attack P. strobus, or whether, on the contrary, there are forms of C. ribicola which infect Pedicularis as telial hosts.

The results of inoculation experiments have been inconsistent, and much remains to be elucidated about the taxonomy and biology of these blister rusts in Japan (Wicker and Yokota, 1976). To add to the confusion, Azbukina (2000) and Imazu et al. (2000) have reported from morphological and PCR-RFLP analysis that Cronartium kamtschaticum (i.e. the fungus on the telial host) is synonymous with C. ribicola, whereas a fungus identified on Pinus pumila as Peridermium kurilense is identical to Endocronartium sanounum var. hokkaidoense, which is distinct from C. ribicola. This opens the possibility that the fungi on P. sibirica and P. pumila are different, that there are other species of Cronartium/Peridermium/Endocronartium in the region which may present a risk to other areas, and that Peridermium kurilense is in fact an Endocronartium, i.e. a short-cycle rust able to pass directly from Pinus to Pinus without an alternate host (as for Endocronartium harknessii in North America).


Top of page The fungus is very similar to C. ribicola (Laundon and Rainbow, 1971).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


JapanPresentEPPO, 2014
-HokkaidoPresentNative Not invasive EPPO/CABI and, 1997; EPPO, 2014


NetherlandsAbsent, confirmed by surveyEPPO, 2014
Russian FederationRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014
-Eastern SiberiaPresentNative Not invasive EPPO/CABI and, 1997; EPPO, 2014
-Russian Far EastPresentNative Not invasive EPPO/CABI and, 1997; EPPO, 2014

Risk of Introduction

Top of page As a non-European Cronartium sp., C. kamtschaticum is regulated by the European Union (EU, 2000). It can be compared with the classic quarantine pest C. ribicola (Phillips, 1988), which similarly attacks five-needled pines. C. ribicola originated in Asia, presumably on local five-needled pines, and spread to Europe and North America where it made it almost impossible to grow P. strobus commercially (P. strobus evidently not being the original host of the fungus). It is feared in Europe that a similar situation could arise with Pinus cembra (closely related to Pinus sibirica, which is often considered to be a subspecies), a mountain species of the Alps and Carpathians whose timber is used for local crafts, but which is not specifically cultivated, except to a limited extent as an ornamental. In North America, other five-needled pines could be at risk. In principle, P. strobus may also be at risk, but it not clear whether, on this host, C. kamtschaticum would cause any additional problem to that of C. ribicola.

The rapid spread of C. ribicola in Europe and other new areas was facilitated by the fact that its Ribes alternate host was widespread, and indeed widely cultivated. The alternate hosts of C. kamtschaticum (Castilleja, Pedicularis) are not cultivated, though both genera are well represented by wild species in North America, and Pedicularis in Europe.

The work of Azbukina (2000) and Imazu et al. (2000) reopens the whole question of the identity of the Cronartium and Peridermium spp. involved. A satisfactory risk analysis will only be possible on the basis of further research. In any case, nothing appears to have been published since the 1970s to sustain the view that either Cronartium kamtschaticum or Peridermium kurilense have any economic impact.

In relation to P. strobus, no measures are now taken against C. ribicola, and there does not seem to be any need to take any for C. kamtschaticum. However, phytosanitary measures may be appropriate with respect to other hosts. Prohibition of the import of plants for planting of Pinus from areas where C. kamtschaticum occurs is an appropriate measure to the extent that it is already applied to prevent the introduction of more important pests. However, it may be noted that Russia does not regulate this species, although P. sibirica occurs as an important timber tree over a much wider area than the range of C. kamtschaticum.

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page The aecial hosts are the five-needled pines; Pinus sibirica in Russia and P. pumila in Japan. The telial hosts are species of Castilleja and Pedicularis. C. kamtschaticum possibly also infects P. strobus, and Ribes as its alternate host, but it is possible that all such cases in fact refer to C. ribicola.

Growth Stages

Top of page Vegetative growing stage


Top of page Infection of the Pinus hosts is characterized by fusiform bark swellings on which aecia form. These swellings may later develop into cankers.

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Stems / canker on woody stem
Stems / discoloration of bark

Biology and Ecology

Top of page There is little specific information on the biology of this species. The main features of its biology are likely to be similar to those of the widespread C. ribicola (Phillips, 1988) or the North American C. coleosporioides (EPPO/CABI, 1997). Also see Bingham (1973).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page Cronartium spp. in general, and probably C. kamtschaticum, can be carried considerable distances as wind-borne aeciospores and can survive considerable periods in the airborne state (Chang and Blenis, 1989). More importantly, these rusts can also enter on plants for planting of the coniferous aecial hosts, as has occurred in parts of the USA. The long incubation periods of these rusts mean that latent infections easily go undetected unless post-entry quarantine is applied. The alternate hosts of C. kamtschaticum are wild plants that are extremely unlikely to be traded internationally. There is no risk in the movement of Pinus seeds or pollen.

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches fruiting bodies; hyphae Yes Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Fruits (inc. pods)
Growing medium accompanying plants
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants
True seeds (inc. grain)


Top of page The disease on Pinus sibirica and P. pumila in the Far East is of little importance. The main problem is that P. strobus is suffering severe attacks by Cronartium spp. in Japan, but there is some confusion as to whether these are C. ribicola or C. kamtschaticum (see Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature).

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page C. kamtschaticum is very similar to C. ribicola. The main distinction lies in its different aecial and telial hosts.

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

For Cronartium spp. in general, control can be effected by removing infected material and eradicating the alternate host, although this is rarely economically viable. Nurseries should be located away from possible infection sources. Chemical spraying may be feasible in the nursery. It may be noted that some five-needled pines (the European P. peuce and the Asian P. koraiensis and P. wallichiana) are markedly resistant to C. ribicola.


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Azbukina ZM, 2000. Cronartium in the Russian Far East. HortTechnology, 10(3):547.

Bingham RT, 1973. "Peridermium kurilense Dietel in Japan" and "More on the rust of Japanese white pines". Information Circular. Washington, USA: USDA.

Chang KF; Blenis PV, 1989. Survival of Endocronartium harknessii teliospores in a simulated airborne state. Canadian Journal of Botany, 67(3):928-932

EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization.

EU, 2000. Council Directive 2000/29/EC of 8 July 2000 on protective measures against the introduction into the Member States of organisms harmful to plant or plant products. Official Journal of the European Communities, No L169, 1-112.

Imazu M; Azbukina ZM; Kakishima M; Fukushima K; Nishimura K; Miyaji M, 2000. Identification of a rust fungus on Pinus pumila collected in the North Kurils, Russia. Mycoscience, 41(2):139-144; 23 ref.

Laundon GF; Rainbow AF, 1971. Cronartium ribicola. CMI Descriptions of Pathogenic Fungi and Bacteria No. 283. Wallingford,UK: CAB International.

Phillips DH, 1988. Cronartium ribicola. In: Smith IM, Dunez J, Lelliot RA, Phillips DH, Archer SA, eds. European Handbook of Plant Diseases. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Scientific Publications, 477-478.

Smith IM; McNamara DG; Scott PR; Holderness M, 1997. Quarantine pests for Europe. Second Edition. Data sheets on quarantine pests for the European Union and for the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. Quarantine pests for Europe. Second Edition. Data sheets on quarantine pests for the European Union and for the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization., Ed. 2:vii + 1425 pp.; many ref.

Wicker EF; Yokota S, 1976. On the Cronartium stem rust(s) of five-needle pines in Japan. Annals of the Phytopathological Society of Japan, 42(2):187-191

Distribution Maps

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